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Chicago Fed Letter, No. 01, September 1987
The Ordeal of Change: Working it Out in the Midwest

Economic change in the 1980s has been something of a puzzle in the Midwest. The decade began with two short but severe recessions, which raised fears of a collapse of the region's economy. But a strong economic expansion by mid-decade prompted some commentators to predict an economic renaissance for the Midwest comparable to the New England experience a decade earlier. Clearly, both images of  the Midwest were distorted by a failure to isolate long-term economic forces— the kind economists call "structural changes"— from short-term economic forces, such as the business cycle.



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